My Greek-American Christmas

Christmas time at the Rigopoulos house is kind of spectacular. I guess when your family comes from two different continents it would have to be. My mom and her side of the family derive from, well, basically most of the southern states, though mainly Texas; and my dad and all his family is from Greece. So while my mom and dad cook up a great meal, you could expect to see anything from pecan pie to Kalamata olives. And while we are all extremely hungry to sit down to dinner, no meal can commence until we have all caught up with overseas relatives via skype. Though, as exciting as all the difference from you average American household sounds, my brothers and I still whined just as much as all the other kids when we had to do things with the family or do extra chores for company. That’s the funny thing about family obligations and traditions: everyone dreads and loves them all the same.

Now I’m seventeen and my brothers are in their twenties. Santa Claus is now more of a sweet joke than a belief and family dinner is more counting calories and awkward catching up than sitting on Grandpa’s lap listening to stories. It’s all seems pretty melancholy, but really it’s kind of beautiful and epic. Beautiful, because I know I have been blessed with an abundance of culture and tradition and love. It’s epic because, as much as my siblings and I might be annoyed by all the forced spirits, I know I have the privilege of passing on bilingual Christmas caroling, decades of recipes, and worldwide season’s greetings to my own family one day.

And just as the holiday season is for giving, my brothers and I have been given the greatest bit of importance. So that we can see to it we aren’t the last to experience this bounty of a Greek-American Christmas.